For a lot of folks, the first action you take when you start feeling ill is to head to Google and input your symptoms to see what’s going on. Many people did that last month when a Legionnaires’ outbreak happened in New York City, and as a result of that incident, Google is beefing up its health conditions feature.
Over the coming weeks, Google plans to improve its health conditions feature in several ways. It will add more health conditions to increase the total to more than 900 — including neglected tropical diseases — which is more than double what the feature had when it launched.
Google is also adding visual design improvements and more specific triggering to get you to the info you want faster, For example, searching for “flu symptoms” will take you directly to the symptoms page for the flu. Finally, a Download PDF link will be included so that you can print the info that you find for a doctor’s visit.
Google notes that the information in its health conditions database is curated and validated by a group of doctors, so you don’t have to worry about the info coming from some unreliable yahoo on a random website when you’re looking at Google’s info. As I said before, a lot of people probably turn to Google when they’re sick rather than immediately calling a doctor, especially considering that Google is just a couple of taps away for most of us. So it’s good to see Google building out its health conditions database with more info that’s also accurate.